May 1, 2013

ANZAC Day Vacation and Indigo Dyeing with Family

It was ANZAC Day last week. ANZAC Day is a national holiday here in Australia. It was a good chance for us to take a mini vacation, so we took an extra long weekend to visit DS and his family. Even though it takes over 8 hours to get there I don't mind the road trip. I usually take something to do when I'm not driving. This trip I took my quilt Rags to Riches that I finished except for the binding some time ago. Because it was ANZAC Day we stopped to see the memorial services in some small towns we drove past. 

Apart from visiting DS we also visited our block of land on the south coast of Australia. The empty block of land looks the same as the last time we saw it, but this trip we met up with a local building designer to discuss the building process in 2014. I took many photos on the trip so I've grouped them together for easy viewing. Double click on the photos to enlarge. Enjoy and thanks for visiting...

We took a couple of stops on our drive. I always take a Thermos of tea and coffee with us, but we have been told that at Holbrook, a town about half way between Melbourne and Canberra there is a bakery that has the best Aussie pies. So we thought we would give it a try. We weren't disappointed. The pies were the best we have had for a long time. Being ANZAC Day, the bakery made special cherry pies with heart shaped cutouts so we tried them too. It was all so yummy! 

Here is the quilt I took with me to stitch down the binding. This quilt is a memory quilt I posted about  here in case you are interested to know more about it. It is a large double sized quilt. Needless to say, I didn't get all the binding done on the trip. 

Cute murals are painted on the side of buildings along the way. A strange looking submarine in the middle of nowhere. There is a real submarine in Holbrook as a tourist attraction, but this was the first time I spotted the mural. The Billy Tea is a famous brand of Australian tea since 1888. I love this mural and must have taken photos of it several times. 

I saw all sort of things on the road, sometimes I let them pass by, but most of the time I snapped them with my iPhone camera which is always handy in my bag. In the above photos, I found a boat named Indigo Moon! I also saw a patchwork car, an Australian mountain parrot, and an old church in Braidwood

The highlight of our trip was at the beach. We all had a lovely swim. We took a walk along Long Beach. We got to know the beach that one day would be our local swimming place. Our block of land is just above this beach. We collected driftwood. Our DGD was looking for starfish, but unfortunately she didn't find one that day.  

On the last morning DS took us to the National Arboretum in Canberra. There is a great range of bonsais at the Arboretum, and I enjoyed looking at them all. There were two miniature Eucalyptus trees that I just loved. Sadly it was time to say goodbye to the family and head back on the road again, but it's not the end of the post yet. I did indigo dyeing with my daughter in law, grand daughter and a friend while I was there. 

It was the first indigo dyeing for my daughter in law. She was looking forward to the day. My grand daughter who is four has been a natural dyer since she was a baby! I prepared some threads before I got there. I showed everyone the basic folds, clamps and stitching then we were ready to play!

DGD was most impressed with the result, but she did say the indigo vat was smelly! DDIL pulled all sorts of clothes she wanted to dye for her cycling trip to Hokkaido in July. She over dyed her red t-shirt with a moon shape. It turned out great that I called it the rising sun. Bron's friend Cherese did Itajime design with chopsticks. She enjoyed the oxidizing process best, I think!  

The backyard indigo workshop was very successful. Everyone was happy with the result even DS dyed the white socks I brought back for him from Bangkok. I'm slowly running out of indigo kits. It's time to put in another order to stock up for more dyeing. The seeds on my indigo plants are plentiful. I hope they will be ready soon. I'm not sure if I will grow them again next year. It needs a lot of TLC for my liking. We couldn't leave them unattended for too long without water. I had to get the neighbors to water them for me twice this year. I feel bad having to ask them too many times. I definitely will have lot of seeds to share around when they are ready. 

Until next time


deanna7trees said...

i just love your quilt. i don't have the staying power to make one that big. and all those blues...just beautiful. i love that you got your family involved.

Needled Mom said...

It looks like it was a fabulous trip.

The murals are wonderful. That is a special talent.

Your indigo dying came out so well. I love the red moon!! They must have really had fun with the process.

Long Beach looks gorgeous. You are really going to enjoy your retirement.

Fran├žoise said...

Great pictures! Your indigo dyeing is so beautiful, as usual.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Good trip up first that pie looked like a biscuit....lovely beach weather too! Good on you for doing some binding in the car....I can't do anything like that! All getting closer now when you say start in 2014!

Nedra said...

Did you finish your binding? Looks like a fun road trip and mini vacation.

Lis said...

What a lovely trip Nat, and so much to see. Your beach looks great and that quilt - it is finished yet? Happy weekend.

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